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Battle Beast - Unholy Savior

Battle Beast - CD Review
Unholy Savior

Unholy Savior



CD Info
Nuclear Blast Records
11 tracks
English lyrics
Rating: 8.5/10

One of the bands that injects new blood into the so-called female fronted music scene (in my humble opinion this is a totally irrelevant term, but that’s a different story and I will not go on and moan here about it) is Battle Beast. This sextet hails from Finland and clearly proves that they came to stay. After the unforeseen success of their first studio album Steel and various distinctions such as their win in Wacken Metal Battle and in Radio Rock Starba, Nuclear Blast saw some potential in them, signed them and gave them the big chance to tour with their fellow Finns, Nightwish. In 2012, after the departure of their first singer, Noora Louhimo joined forces with them. The band went back on the road with Sonata Arctica and in May 2013 released their second studio album Battle Beast. Massive touring, awards and top singles followed.

After playing in major festivals and headlining shows in their native country the band went straight back to the studio to write and record their third highly-anticipated album. Unholy Savior represents a part of an ongoing spiritual journey. Bersek, a manga and anime series which is noted for its heavy violence, had been the primary source of inspiration for the main composer of the band Anton Kabanen (guitars, male vocals), and the topics of the songs are death, agony, pain, hate, confusion, fear and insecurity, deep gratitude, longing, consolation and love. Of course, for the mastering the Finns trusted no other than master, Mika Jussila (Finnvox Studios).

The album opens with “Lionheart”, which shows clearly that in their third album Battle Beast decided to use more keys and solos to enrich their already pure heavy sound. And this is a very good thing. The solid rhythm section along with the heavy and sharp guitars give us a good sample about what is to follow: a pure heavy metal album and nothing less!

The self-titled track follows and it features some folky elements along with Battle Beast’s well-known heaviness. You can even listen to some backing choir parts in the chorus. Noora praises the unholy savior in the skies and with her performance gives a certain theatrical feeling to the whole track. Oh boy, this track would have made an awesome videoclip!

Noora goes on and screams that she wants the world and everything in it. Anton Kabanen, gives her a hand on the vocal performance and only one comment can be made here: the heaviness goes on and on.

The album continues in the same pattern with “Madness”. I am telling you, this album will grab you by the face and make you bang your head like there is no tomorrow! But only until the next track starts off. “Sea Of Dreams” is a ballad track. This is not a typical ballad track though. The guitars, the keys, and the wind instruments are there just to give a boost to Noora’s totally sentimental performance. There is a moment in the track when the guitars break in with a breathtaking solo. It’s amazing and admirable how this band manages to transform a ballad track into a massive anthem!

The storm rages on with “Speed And Danger” which clearly displays the amazing work which has been done on the composing part (especially in the guitar parts) and in the performing part as well. It’s more than obvious that the band entered the studio and gave their very best selves to write and record this album. If I should pick only one track from Unholy Savior, it would be this one.

“Touch In The Night” was the first song off the album that Nuclear Blast revealed. And the shit-storm started to rage on; comments like “Battle Beast went pop metal” or “What is this? Bring the metal back” started to pop up everywhere. Well, this is a track with a kind of pop essence, but this is not bad. Not at all! Maybe their label decided to release it for several reasons, but don’t be fooled and criticize … or even worse, reject a good album for just one track that you didn’t like. Not to mention all these ‘80s classic rock and metal bands we all love and admire who wrote awesome and well-known anthems that feature rather pop elements in.

“The Black Swordsman” is a cool intro track featuring a couple of verses. “Hero’s Quest” follows, and it is as well a small instrumental track which reminds of epic battle hymns. In “Far Far Away”, Battle Beast promise to take us far away, where man has never gone, to rewrite history and tell the stories of this mythical journey. This is a pretty cool promise being made here, and it’s impossible to be ignored by the metalheads of this world, isn’t it?

The album closes with “Angels Cry”, which once again is not just a typical mellow ballad. This band is so gifted that they manage to give a certain amount of power and attitude to every track, even if it is a ballad!

To sum up, Unholy Savior is a really nice album full of soul and steel, and I was not expecting anything less from Battle Beast since they caught my attention from their very early days. I am pretty sure that if this band will find the right producer to work with and get some more guidance, they will work some wonders before our eyes.

Unholy Savior will be released soon; go grab it, give it some spins, and make sure you don’t miss them on their upcoming European tour along with Sabaton and Delain. I will not!